Email marketing has always been one of the strongest channels that mortgage industry and real estate industry marketers use. In fact, it may be even more vital now than ever since companies have had to shift substantially to digital channels to stay in touch with their target audiences, especially in the last several years. The email marketing landscape has changed quite a bit. Accordingly, it’s critical today that marketers have an up-to-date understanding of best practices.
Here is a list of the top seven email marketing trends and best practices for marketers in the mortgage and real estate industries:
- Hyper-personalization: Hyper-personalization of email campaigns is the process of tailoring the content of an email to the specific needs, wants, and challenges of individual recipients. Adding the recipient’s name to the subject line is no longer enough. Instead, the recipient should feel the email was written specifically for them. To accomplish this level of personalization, list segmentation is an essential skill that involves grouping recipients into categories based on factors that make sense for your campaign. Some examples could include their function within a company, type of company (B2B vs. B2C), demographics, psychographics, stage of life, past purchase history, browsing behavior, engagement such as open or click-throughs, and time zones.
By segmenting your list, you can create targeted email campaigns that speak directly to the needs and interests of specific groups of recipients. For example, you could create an email campaign for clients who recently closed on their homes, prospects who stopped communicating with you, or C-suite executives who make purchase decisions for origination technology.
If you have an email service that allows for dynamic content, this can significantly enhance the quality of the emails you send. Dynamic content is any personalized part of an email that can change by the individual. For example, a recent purchase, mortgage data, a seminar/webinar attended, or anything else that helps individuals in your audience feel like what they received was meant for them.
- Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the mortgage and real estate industries as well as email marketing. Leveraging a tool like ChatGPT when developing your email campaigns can be helpful and save time. Although not perfect, AI can generate copy that serves as a good starting point. With experience, you can prompt the AI to drive better responses that can help the effectiveness of your email campaigns.AI can help you develop email subject line ideas and body copy for email sequences. It can also assist with ensuring your messages are targeted and personalized, resulting in improved engagement rates and higher conversions. AI can help you create event emails, new client solicitations, seasonal and holiday messages, and other applications as you better understand its capabilities and limitations.
AI has imperfections, but it is a valuable tool to help marketers create effective email campaigns that resonate with their target audience.
- Dark mode compatible emails: Dark mode is a feature that many users now choose to use on their devices to reduce eye strain and improve their overall viewing experience. Designing emails with dark mode compatibility in mind is becoming increasingly important. As many as 82% of smartphone users now prefer dark mode, and this trend is likely to continue in the future. When designing emails, it’s essential to consider dark mode. If emails are not optimized for dark mode, they may not render correctly and could lead to a poor user experience. This is particularly important for emails that contain images or graphics that may be affected by the change in display colors. If an email does not render correctly, it could be marked as spam, which can negatively impact future email campaigns.
Testing dark mode in your emails will be important. Preview the email to make sure the graphic components appear correctly and make sure to use colors that are in enough contrast that they appear well on both dark and light backgrounds.
- Metrics: It’s important to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns to optimize future efforts. Note, however, that traditional metrics such as open rates have become less reliable due to changes made by Apple to its operating system. Specifically, the Apple Mail Privacy Protection update can artificially increase open rates, making it difficult to gauge email performance accurately. In addition to issues with open rates, some email clients may not display HTML with images, leading to under-reported open rates.
As a result, marketers should focus on other key performance indicators (KPIs) such as click-through rate (CTR) and return on investment (ROI). These metrics can provide valuable insights into how subscribers engage with email content and whether the campaign generates a positive return on investment.
With the decline in reliability of open rates, A/B testing has become even more crucial for email marketing success. Testing subject lines and body copy can help marketers determine which messaging resonates best with their audience and drives higher click-through rates.
While subject line testing is often associated with open rates, it’s essential to remember that getting the email opened is only the first step. To drive engagement and ROI, marketers must also focus on optimizing the email content and calls to action.
- Automation: Email marketing automation is a cost-effective and efficient way to reach your target audience. With automation tools, marketers can easily segment their audience and send personalized messages at scale. Whether it’s a newsletter, a follow-up series, or a sequence to drive attendance for a webinar, email automation allows for tailored communication that accomplishes specific business objectives. Email automation also allows businesses to build relationships with their audience over time through lead nurturing activities like sending messages based on triggers or predetermined timing. This personalized approach improves the client experience and can increase revenue. In fact, marketers that use segmented email campaigns, on average, see a 760% increase in revenue.
By testing and tracking campaigns, marketers can gain valuable insights into their audience and develop more successful campaigns over time. Best practices for automated emails include always including a call to action (CTA), following anti-spam laws, and optimizing emails for mobile devices. With email automation, businesses can create a streamlined and effective email marketing strategy that drives results while saving time and resources.
- Include links to custom landing pages: After a recipient clicks on your email, it is important to guide them down a pathway to ultimately converting with minimal effort. In many cases, it may make sense to develop a custom landing page instead of directing them to your website or the “contact us” page. Make them feel like they are in the right place by developing a landing page that corresponds with the subject matter of the email itself. This will provide a seamless transition and improve the user experience for prospects and clients.
- Update your email list: Updating your email list is crucial to maintaining a successful email marketing campaign. Despite being one of the oldest email marketing practices, many marketers neglect to keep their lists current. A poorly maintained list can lead to many problems. For example, a high email bounce rate can prevent your content from reaching your audience. Additionally, using outdated email lists can result in being flagged as a spammer, which may lead to being banned from sending future emails from your domain if it becomes a consistent problem. Lastly, sending irrelevant content can result in disinterest and lead to disengagement.
In conclusion, email marketing remains a crucial channel for marketers in the mortgage and real estate industries, particularly as the shift towards digital channels continues to grow. However, with the constantly evolving email marketing landscape, it is imperative for marketers to stay up to date on best practices to ensure the success of their campaigns. By keeping track of metrics, implementing automation, updating email lists, and creating compelling content, marketers can continue to leverage the power of email marketing to drive engagement, build relationships, and ultimately drive business growth.
For more than 30 years, Seroka has been offering marketing and public relations assistance to businesses in the mortgage and real estate industries. Our team of experts is committed to helping clients accomplish their growth goals with proven, winning strategies. If you need assistance developing and testing your email campaigns or any other marketing support, reach out to Seroka for a free consultation and let them put their expertise to work for you.